Class seat location linked with grades

Plazma Inferno!

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Classroom environments have a recognized impact on student performance. According to “common sense” classroom observations, choosing to sit in the back row(s) is among the most telling signs that someone will be less than engaged in their studies. Performance impairments may also result from situations where seats are assigned, as people in the back rows must deal with being furthest from the information source (teacher, blackboards, etc.). Oddly, little research has been conducted to objectively investigate the relationship between grades and seat location.
Researchers from the University of Salento, in their new study, have recently added to the knowledge base by both confirming the relationship and identifying shyness as a potential moderating factor.
Data was collected by surveying multiple marketing classes over a five-year period. A final sample of 270 students was included (56% female). During each year students were required to maintain their seating position. Surveys included items such as seat location, self-assessed shyness and self-assessed level of nonconformity. Each of the latter two measures was reported using a 7-point Likert scale. Students were also asked if they were sitting near friends to account for the potential influence of their presence, as it could provide additional environmental comfort.
As predicted, seating position was significantly linked to grade performance, with scores dropping as distance from the front of the room increased. Shyness was found to have an appreciable impact on this relationship. Specifically, low levels of shyness were related to a lessened effect. Grade performance for less shy students still dropped as seats moved toward the back but not as much as those with higher levels of shyness.
The results show that grades are worse for students who sit toward the back, suggesting that even planned seating arrangements in classrooms can put some students at a disadvantage.
I suspect that teachers subconsciously give more attention to students on the periphery - i.e. the front, back and sides.

I was in a few classes that required seating in alphabetical order, which put me at dead center. My grades were near the top of the class.